Three delightful young starlings have fledged this evening.
This one was nervously clinging to the rose arch while its siblings were making a racket from the plum tree. A parent arrived and all three felt confident enough to explore the lawn.
Starlings are highly social and flocks can be huge. A couple of years ago we took an autumn trip to the RSPB reserve at Ham Wall to watch the murmuration display when thousands of starlings filled the sky swirling in unison before settling down to roost. Magnificent sight. This short video shows it well. The Starling population has declined dramatically since the 1970s: they are on the red list as a bird of high conservation concern.
About 70% of young Starlings survive long enough to fledge because the nests are usually built in small holes so predators can't reach them. The oldest recorded Starling was 21 years old. These chicks will be about three weeks old. They have been raised on a diet of insects and earthworms. Their parents will continue to feed them for another two weeks then they are independent. Today they were feeding on some bread I had thrown out for the exhausted blackbirds. Even though they are fresh out of the nest they still have their wits about them .... my cat watched them with interest for a few minutes then licked her lips and came closer ... the youngsters flew off ... Isis adopted the nonchalant pose!